January 7, 2009
Here’s an issue we don’t pay enough attention to: providing affordable health care for farmers. Steph Larsen, Rural Policy Organizer for the Center for Rural Affairs, discusses this in yesterday’s edition the The Ethicurean blog. “When we talk about local food, it means more than just proximity to a farm,” she writes. “We associate supporting ‘local food’ with supporting specific values – such as family ownership, local control, small scale, environmental stewardship, community, and ecological diversity. These values are what motivate people to buy their food directly from the farmer who grows it.” As Larsen notes, supporting these values is a tough go for many farmers who, already on a tight budget, must fork out a small fortune to cover health insurance premiums. It’s a thought-provoking look at how health insurance reform–a key agenda of the incoming Obama administration–impacts sustainable agriculture.